School for Social Work
Psychotherapy-Physiological aspects, Psychotherapist and patient, Psychic trauma-Treatment, Countertransference (Psychology), Secondary traumatic stress, Trauma, Vicarious trauma, Somatic countertransference, Body
This exploratory-descriptive study examined therapists' use of their physiological responses in work with trauma survivors. Broadly, the study sought to understand how a therapist's physiological responses play a role in how they construct meaning about a client. The study sample consisted of eight Relationally oriented therapists who worked with trauma survivors. Data were collected through hour-long, semi-structured interviews with each participant at a single point in time, utilizing the Physiological Response to Trauma Questionnaire. Findings revealed that participants used their physiological countertransference to inform clinical functions, specifically: ability to attune, choice of interventions, assessment, and ability to maintain boundaries and prevent vicarious trauma.
Jakubowski, Julia A., "Implicit communication : the body's role in clinical work with trauma survivors" (2012). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.